A recent report has stated that mobile data traffic in South Africa is forecast to grow eight-fold over the next four years with an annual compound growth rate of 53%.
This is according to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index Global Forecast and Service Adoption (for 2013 to 2018). They go on to say that global broadband speeds will improve from 16 Mbps at the end of 2013 to 42 Mbps by 2018. The report also showed that the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region will continue to be the fastest growing IP traffic region showing 38% compound average growth rate (CAGR) over the next four years.
In South Africa they project that there will be 147.7 million networked devices in 2018, up from 92.4 million in 2013 and that IP traffic will grow four-fold from 2013 to 2018 (a CAGR of 34%).
On a global scale, Cisco predicts that the composition of IP traffic will shift dramatically by 2018 with the majority of traffic originating from devices other than PCs. Wi-Fi will also exceed wired traffic for the first time in the coming years with Wi-Fi and mobile-connected devices generating 76% of Internet traffic by 2018.
Ericsson meanwhile has released their latest mobility report saying that in Sub-Saharan Africa voice-call traffic is expected to double and mobile internet usage is expected to increase 20 times between 2013 and 2019.
This growth is due to a combination of increased access to 3G and 4G technology across the region and the launch of several under-$50 smartphones options. This is allowing increasing numbers of consumers in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa to access content-rich apps, social media, and video content.
Given the high use of mobile phones over desktop computers to access the internet, the region is uniquely positioned to grow in social networks and mobile banking applications, says Ericsson, with 70% of mobile users browsing the internet on their phone versus 6% who use desktop computers.
Ericsson also says that Sub-Saharan Africa’s mobile penetration, currently sitting at 70%, is fast approaching the global average of 92% and predicts that 75% of mobile subscriptions will include internet services (either 3G or 4G) by 2019.
Overall data traffic has already doubled in the last year and is expected to double again in 2015. Mobile subscriptions are also expected to increase from 551 million in 2013 to 930 million in 2019 with the biggest increases in mobile users currently occurring in Nigeria, followed by the Congo, Uganda and Ghana.